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from Menindie, 16 October 1860.

Original item held at the State Library of Victoria, SLV MS13071, Box 2082/1a, Items 11 & 12.
Victorian Exploring Expedition Records, Dispatches sent by members of the VEE to the EC.
Robert O'Hara Burke's dispatch, Menindie, 16 October 1860. 4 pages.


This despatch was posted in Menindee on Tuesday, 16 October 1860 and was received in Melbourne on Monday, 5 November 1860, when a meeting of the Exploration Committee was called at short notice.

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Expedition Camp,
N.South Wales.
16th October 1860.


I have the honor to report that upon the 9th inst Mr Landells handed his resignation to me under the following circumstances.

I told him I did not think it desirable to take our rum for the camels - he said that in that case he would not be responsible for them - I replied that he was responsible to me and must act under my instructions - he then tendered his resignation. Upon the following day I read a letter to him regarding his resignation to you upon which and without any [satisfaction] upon my part he withdrew it. I afterwards heard that he had been tampering with the men. I forward a statement from Mr Hodgkinson of what took place between him and Mr Landells. Mr Wills also made a statement to me which I now forward. I omitted to state that Mr Landells upon the 9th inst. requested, and in the presence of Mr. ...

Honorary Secretary,
Exploration Committee




...Wills, to allow him to return to Melbourne upon the footing that there had been and understanding between us that he was only to accompany me to the Darling but I declined to do so and I told him that I considered he had been guilty of the most disgraceful act that a man could commit in telling lies and I still hold that opinion.

I have only time further to add that the Expedition has arrived at Menindie. I left the camels in the act of crossing the river at Kincheka about three miles from here, they had all crossed safely but three. I shall remain here for a few days and then proceed on towards Cooper's Creek.

I will send down another report by next mail which leaves here fortnightly, every alternate Tuesday, and I request that letters for the Expedition may be addressed to me here.

I have the honor to be,
Your obedient servant,
R O'Hara Burke,




Drakeford has this day been discharged for drunkenness; his conduct has been generally good but I had to reprove him upon a former occasion for the same offence and I recommend that a reduction of at least £5 be made from his pay. I have advanced him £5 in order to enable him to reach town.

R O'Hara Burke,

19th October 1860


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